So you think you don’t need travel health insurance? Most people regard travel health insurance as an added expense or a luxury but in fact it is the most important purchase of your whole vacation, especially when travelling with children.

No one ever plans a trip with the idea of cancelling it, or returning home early, but keep in mind that illnesses, accidents or emergencies can happen unexpectedly.

What if your family is at the beach enjoying your Caribbean vacation and your child cuts his foot open on a rock or you suddenly have an appendicitis attack? You can be left in distress or financially devastated not choosing to spend a few extra dollars to protect yourself with travel health insurance.

Some common misconceptions about travel health insurance

My provincial Canadian health care will cover me.

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Travel Health Insurance - Common Misconceptions About Travel Insurance

As soon as you leave Canada, your provincial health care plans, for example OHIP in Ontario, does not cover you. In fact, some things are not even covered when you travel to a different province. Provincial government and employee health plans are not designed to cover everything and may limit reimbursement for expenses such as air ambulance service, prescription drugs and X-rays.

Canadians should definitely be aware of the coverage provided by their provincial and employee health plans when planning a trip anywhere outside their home province or territory and purchase travel health insurance.

A broken leg and a few days in the hospital in the United States or elsewhere may cost you $20,000 out of your own pocket. Pay $100 now for the travel health insurance or take the risk and be in debt for $20,000? The choice is yours.

I will take the chance and just charge it to my credit card

Obtaining healthcare in some parts of the world can be tricky. Some hospitals won’t provide any treatment–or won’t allow a patient to be discharged–until the hospital has received a guarantee of payment. This means you’ll have to pay in advance, perhaps as much as tens of thousands of dollars, with your credit card. Of course, for this to work the hospital must accept foreign credit cards and your card must have a sufficient credit limit.

In addition, remember that leaving your destination–for a place with higher quality medical care or to return home where your regular insurance is accepted–can be difficult and extremely costly to arrange. Emergencies are rare but everyone should have a contingency plan and travel health insurance from your travel insurance company which provides just that.

If I cancel my trip, the travel company, airline, cruise line etc will refund my money

Trip cancellation insurance is also an very important coverage to have from your travel insurance company. It may come as something of a revelation to find out that if for whatever reason you need to cancel your trip, most are 100% non refundable and you will lose the entire cost of your trip.

Check the fine print of your travel documents, you may be surprised but it is there. If you think the tour company or the airline will feel sorry for you and refund your tickets, I guarantee it will not happen. If they did this for everyone, they would quickly be out of business.

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The following real-life scenarios provided by Travel Guard Insurance Company, demonstrate the necessity of purchasing travel insurance:

Medical Emergency: A 50-year old woman collapses aboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean. The ship’s doctor recommends she be taken to the nearest island hospital at the next port of call where very little English is spoken.

The hospital expenses, emergency air ambulance home and additional emergency air transportation home for her family members cost $50,000. The lost portion of the pre-paid cruise is valued at $10,000. Her provincial health insurance plan only reimburses $2,000.

With Travel Guard trip interruption and emergency accident and sickness benefits, not only are all these expenses and losses covered, their multi-lingual emergency assistance counsellors work with the attending physician and family physician to organize the best possible care, air ambulance, family transportation and the securing of a hospital bed back home.

Additionally, all medical bills are paid directly to the various medical suppliers by Travel Guard.

Trip Cancellation: A family totally prepays a tour package to Orlando, Florida which includes return flights, hotel accommodation and day passes to a theme resort (total cost: $12,000). Two days before their departure date, the father is hospitalized following a car accident.

Since the trip was only cancelled 2 days prior to departure, the cancellation charge by the tour operator is 100% of the holiday cost. With Travel Guard trip cancellation benefits, the total insured amount is refunded including the cost of the theme resort day passes.

Trip Interruption: Honeymooners purchase air tickets to Vancouver and an Alaskan cruise. Their flight arrival from Montreal is delayed by weather and they miss the cruise departure.

Without travel insurance, the honeymooners have to find and pay their own way home or find a way to catch up to the cruise ship. With Travel Guard trip interruption benefits, emergency travel assistance is one phone call away. Hotel arrangements and/or arrangements to catch up to the cruise ship or return home are handled by Travel Guard and the transportation costs and the value of the lost days at sea are reimbursed.

Lost Travel Documents: While visiting relatives in Spain, a senior citizen loses her passport and travel tickets. Without insurance, she has to deal with the foreign language issue and figure out how to get a new passport and replacement airline tickets.

Exclusively with Travel Guard, one call to Livetravel – their 24/7 emergency travel assistance number and all the work is completed by Travel Guard.

Lost luggage and unexpected emergencies back home are common travel problems which are seamlessly resolved with the purchase of Travel health insurance trip cancellation plans.

Considering the cost of vacations these days, it is not worth it to risk it and leave it to chance. The peace of mind that travel health insurance and trip cancellation provides is unbelievable. You can relax and enjoy yourself knowing that whatever happens, your family is protected by your travel insurance company.